When living in America, a Social Security card quickly becomes one of your most vital documents. Whenever an employer, bank or other business needs to verify your identity, they rely on your Social Security number. This number is assigned to people who are born American when their birth is registered with the Social Security Administration, but for those born outside the United States, the procedure is a bit different.
In this case, a foreign born US citizen must gather documents that verify their identity and citizenship in order to obtain their Social Security number and card. This is to assure the Social Security Administration that the individual who is being assigned a number is legally able to receive one, as it entitles them to most of the general benefits of life and work in the United States.
Using Certificate of Citizenship as Required Document for Foreign Born US Citizen's Social Security Card
When applying for a Social Security number, one of the main things an applicant needs to prove is that they are in fact a citizen of the United States. They may prove this through the submission of one of several different forms. These forms can include:
- a United States passport
- a Certificate of Citizenship
- a Certificate of Naturalization
- a Certificate of Report of Birth
- a Consular Report of Foreign Birth
These documents show that the applicant was either born in America, became a citizen of America, or was born outside America to American citizens and, as such, is an American citizen as well. Consular reports typically relate to American born children of military members stationed overseas.
For someone who was born outside of the United States to American parents, presentation of a Certificate of Citizenship is one of the most efficient ways to verify this information. This certificate is given to those who have been granted American citizenship by their birth to American parents, regardless of where the birth has taken place. Once this certificate has been issued, it can be used as a qualifying document to verify citizenship when applying for a Social Security card.
Replacing Certificate of Citizenship as Required Document for Foreign Born US Citizen
A Certificate of Citizenship is an important federal document that should be kept safe, but unfortunately, sometimes these matters are out of a person’s control. Whether a document is lost, stolen or damaged, sometimes it’s simply not available when it’s needed. American citizens who have received and lost a Certificate of Citizenship are able to file an application online to receive a replacement of their certificate by mail.
The process to do this is easy. Applicants may fill out form N-565 online, providing the necessary information to verify their identity in order to receive a copy of their certificate – however, this is not free, nor is it cheap. The $555 filing fee may be prohibitive to a lot of people who are trying to prove their citizenship, so when possible, the applicant may be able to save money if they can locate their Report of Birth or Consular Report of Foreign Birth to use as an alternate document.
There’s one tiny caveat here that, in extremely rare cases, applicants may be able to make use of. If there were any typographical issues with the original copy of the Certificate of Citizenship, a request for a corrected replacement will be fulfilled for free. This situation is by far the exception to a rule.
Taking the Next Steps
Once a Certificate of Citizenship has been found or replaced, applicants can continue gathering the rest of the documents they’ll need to obtain their Social Security number. For foreign-born applicants, this will include a copy of a foreign birth certificate in order to verify age. Applicants over the age of 12 will go through an interview process with the Social Security Administration. If a Certificate of Citizenship is used as proof of citizenship, interviewers may require additional proof of identity in the form of an employee or school identification card as it would be unlikely that the applicant would have a US drivers license or identification. If the SSA decides that the application has been thoroughly vetted and the applicant qualifies for a Social Security card, the card will be issued by mail.